ISLAMABAD: The federal government’s Sehat Sahulat programme has emerged as another flagship initiative to facilitate the ailing poor, mitigating their sufferings. Hundreds of thousands of poor in the country are benefiting from the programme as it is the fulfilment of yet another promise made to the poor in the manifesto of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government. The national health services, regulations and coordination ministry is executing the programme in collaboration with provincial and regional governments. The Sehat Sahulat programme is a social health protection initiative meant for providing free of cost health insurance, indoor health care services to poor, vulnerable and marginalised families in the country. During 2016 and 2018, phase-I of the initiative was started with a focus on below poverty families, providing benefit package of Rs50,000 per family per year for lowcost secondary care diseases and Rs250,000 per family per year for expensive seven priority care diseases. The programme was implemented in 38 districts across the country, covering 3.2 million families. From 2019, phase-II of the initiative was started. The programme not only expanded its benefits package to Rs60,000 per family per year for low-cost secondary care disease and Rs300,000 per family per year for high cost eight priority care disease but also extended the coverage to 9.2 million families living below the poverty line, all permanent resident families of Tharparkar, Sindh district, all permanent residents of merged districts of KhyberPakhtunkhwa, all registered transgender and all registered persons with permanent disabilities of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory. The programme will also be expanded to Balochistan and Sindh as soon as a provincial contribution to the health insurance premium is assured by provincial governments. The services that are available from ‘Qaumi Sehat Card’ (former Sehat Insaf Card) includes open-heart surgeries, insertion of stunts, management of cancer, neurosurgical procures, burn management, accident management, dialysis, intensive care management, deliveries, C section and other medical/ surgical procedures. The programme will also provide Rs1,000 transportation cost to its beneficiaries on their discharge from the hospital. This is one of the leading initiatives of the incumbent government through which support and assistance are provided to poor vulnerable and marginalised families across the country.